Large breasts can be a pain in the neck, literally. They can also cause back pain, reduce your ability to exercise, lead to skin irritation and even make it difficult to breathe.
Breast reduction surgery (a reduction mammoplasty) aims to give you smaller, firmer, better-shaped breasts, which are in proportion to the rest of your body. It will also reduce the size of the areola – the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
The benefits on your quality of life can be enormous after breast reduction surgery, and the procedure has a high level of patient satisfaction, as it is able to immediately relieve the physical discomfort suffered by many patients.
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
Before breast reduction surgery many patients complain of multiple problems such as back, neck, and shoulder pain, discomfort from bra straps that dig in to the skin, difficulty exercising, difficulty finding supportive bras, and the frustration at not being able to find clothes that fit properly. However, these issues can all be solved with a breast reduction! Patients also tell us they find it much easier to exercise after their breast reduction surgery, which greatly assists in achieving weight loss after a breast reduction.
Breast reductions can also be combined with a variety of other procedures such as a breast lift, abdominoplasty or liposuction, to address body contouring concerns. It is also commonly performed as part of a post pregnancy makeover or “mummy makeover”.
Cost of Breast Reduction Surgery
There are Medicare item numbers which recognise breast reduction surgery because of the functional disability that large hanging breasts can cause.
To be eligible for a Medicare breast reduction you’ll need to be assessed by a plastic surgeon. Although Medicare may recognise the need for the procedure on medical grounds and you may fill the criteria for the a breast reduction under Medicare, few Plastic Surgeons have the option of performing the surgery in a Public Hospital due to funding restrictions placed on public hospitals by Medicare.
If you fill the criteria for Medicare to recognise your breast reduction, then Private health insurance will recognise it as well. This means that depending on the level of your cover, Private Health Insurance will cover most of the hospital costs and some of the surgical fee or surgical cost, but there will most likely be a “gap cost” or out-of-pocket cost.
Types of Breast Reduction
There are a variety of techniques for preforming a breast reduction and each technique will be applicable for different candidates depending on patient age, skin excess, breast size and desired result.
- Liposuction/Liposculpture – This technique is used to remove fat from the breasts and is used for smaller reductions only. The result is a breast reduction with almost no scarring.
- Short-scar Breast Reduction – Minimal scarring is usually an important outcome for anyone undergoing surgery and Dr Hunt trained specifically in the United States in the technique of short-scar breast reduction. The result is a scar around the nipple and vertical scar, without the scar under the breast fold.
- Inverted T scar – This involves a scar around the nipple, a vertical scar and a scar under the fold of the breast. This is used in larger reductions and older patients where the skin is not as elastic.
What’s involved in breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery should be performed under a general anaesthetic, given by an anaesthetist, in an accredited hospital, so you are assured of the highest standard of care and safety.
The surgical techniques used for breast reduction vary, but the most common procedure involves an upside down T-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. The nipples are then moved into their new position and the skin from both sides of the breast is brought down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat from the armpit area.
In most case, the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves.
Occasionally, when only fat needs to be removed, liposuction alone can be used to reduce breast size, leaving minimal scarring.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery For Me?
Of all the procedures Dr Hunt performs, he finds breast reductions to be one of the most satisfying. “My patients are happy, their lives are changes for the better, and they are grateful for what I could offer them – a fuller happier life!!”
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.